'Star Wars' toys generate more than $700 million in sales in 2015

Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:46pm EST
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By Subrat Patnaik

(Reuters) - "Star Wars" toys generated sales of more than $700 million in the United States in 2015, making them the No.1 property in the toy industry during the year, a retail research group said.

Sales of toys such as Kylo Ren light sabers, BB-8 droids and models of the Millennium Falcon spacecraft totaled more than those related to movie franchises "Jurassic World," "Minions" and "Avengers" combined, NPD Group said on Wednesday.

Led by "Star Wars" merchandise, toy sales in the United States rose 6.7 percent to $19.4 billion in 2015, making it one of the strongest performances for toy sales in years, NPD Group said.

Sales took off on Sept. 4, or "Force Friday", when retailers launched merchandise in anticipation of the opening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the first Star Wars film produced by Walt Disney Co.

"With the early release of 'Star Wars' toys on Force Friday, 'Star Wars' managed to become the number-one property for the year," NPD said. (bit.ly/1ZMA50c)

Toymakers Hasbro Inc and Mattel Inc are some of the biggest licensees of "Star Wars" products.

Toys based on characters from the new movie were tough to find after Christmas, said Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of toys and sporting goods review website TTPM.

Disney said last week that new toys and collectibles related to the movie are rolling out at Disney stores and mass retailers across the United States.   Continued...

Five hundred replicas of the Stormtrooper characters from "Star Wars" are seen on the steps at the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China during a promotional event for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" film, on the outskirts of Beijing, China, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee